The clock’s ticking for the start of the season. And tee time will take on a different meaning when PGA in England & Wales (North) professionals peg up in five ranking tournaments spread over the campaign.
For the winners of each one, plus the player who tops the Order of Merit for the coveted Michael Slater Memorial Trophy, will be presented with a must-have ETIQUS watch designed exclusively for the golfer.
They have been created by Gary Butler, the founder and managing director of the Cheshire-based company who got into the business purely by chance.
“Back in 2002 I was on holiday in Portugal when my watch broke and so my kids picked a new one for me. It was a funky waterproof one which I didn’t even realise was for diving until someone mistook me for a diver and pointed it out. They showed me how the bezel on the outside helped to time the consumption of oxygen underwater.’’
“I realised a lot of watches are made for various sports so I designed one for golfers which features a bezel inspired by Pace of Play guidelines, originally published by the R&A, that can indicate how long it takes to complete a hole. It’s a distinguishing feature that identifies the wearer as a golfer and because it’s a proper watch is attractive to wear for any occasion.”
Since then Butler’s company has developed 24 different designs for both men and women of his elegantly produced timepieces all with Swiss movements which won’t make a big dent in your bank balance.
He’s also setting up a network of PGA professionals to showcase his products through his affiliate programme and is also keen to support development in the grassroots game with a £5 donation to the Golf Foundation from each watch purchased.
PGA North secretary Graham Maly said: “It’s fantastic to have Etiqus as an associate sponsor for our Order of Merit series and its pre-tournament pro-ams, as well as recognising the Assistants’ Order of Merit winner and providing our regional captain with a timepiece from his collection.”